The USEA Rule Change Open Forum Cured My Insomnia Again

Scheduling the rule change open forum at the end of Saturday afternoon at the USEA convention is the USEA’s best effort at driving me past the point of madness.  Only Malcolm Hook’s dulcet tones stand between us and the freedom of the Hall of Fame Gala.  Below are my notes from the meeting with an editorial note that you the reader are hereby absolved of any responsibility to read further in this post.  Skip below for video of Mary King’s speech and a recap of the London 2012 team review.

[List of Proposed Rule Changes]

–A new national rule clarification will stipulate that the Ground Jury “may direct” that someone who has a bad fall unrelated to an on-course fence (such as in warmup or galloping between fences) must be examined before they are allowed to continue.

–Another rule change proposal stipulates that  the 3rd stop on course will now mean elimination, whether at one or multiple fences for Prelimary, Intermediate, and Advanced.  The lower levels will still get 4 total on course or 3 at one fence.

–One fall and out rule.  I have written a great deal about this over the past few days and nothing new was presented in today’s meeting.  Malcolm described the current rule change proposal as reading the first fall of competitor where they land on feet with no apparent injury meaning elimination 65 penalties for beginner novice and novice.  He said that he thinks this version will have the best chance to sell to the USEF Safety Committee.  Malcolm reiterated the political factor that there is no way this rule change will pass the USEF Board unless it passes the USEF Safety Committee.  As we already know, Malcolm has been asked by both the USEF Technical Committee and the USEA Board to withdraw the rule change proposal before it gets to the USEF Board if it is voted down by the USEF Safety Committee.  Once again, Malcolm defended a rule that the Technical Committee which he chairs passed but that he personally opposes.  He did wryly point out that rule change comment form is still open for submissions.

–Malcolm then discussed a few small USEF rule changes for all disciplines.

–FEI qualification rules.  If you are confused about the FEI qualification rules, just understand that the USEF’s best of the best rule experts are as well.  Shealagh Costello said that the USEF Technical Committee has asked for clarifications and extensions from the FEI and that the FEI is still changing the rules as of Friday night.  She begged the audience to stay patient as the qualification rules are clarified and studied.  The new FEI rules have also led to some new national rule changes that are still in progress.  Malcolm did say that very little has changed for national divisions as a result of the new FEI rules.  We will continue to bring you updates and better explanations on the qualification rules as we get them.  I have written a great deal about the FEI qualification rules from the convention, but please note that the qualification rules are still a work in progress.

Clear as mud?

There are rumors of a huge announcement at tonight’s USEA Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony.  My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that the announcement will involve a big donation to support US eventing high performance.  Stay tuned for more.  Go eventing.

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